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Kessler Thomas

(1937)

Kessler Thomas
Kessler Thomas
Herrengartenweg 20
CH-4123 Allschwil
Schweiz

Internet: www.boosey.com/pages/cr/composer/composer_main.asp?site-lang=de&composerid=15599

Biography
Thomas Kessler, *1937. - Composer
- Born in Zurich
- Studied with Heinz Friedrich Hartig, Ernst Pepping and Boris Blacher
1973 until 2000 - Lecturer at the music academy in Basel
- Founder of the "electronic studios" at the music academy in Basel

– Born in Zurich
– Studied German philology and Romance studies in Zurich and Paris followed by composition under the tutelage of Heinz Friedrich Hartig, Ernst Pepping and Boris Blacher in Berlin
1965 – Founded his own electronic studio in Berlin
1965 onwards – Directed the "Electronic Beat Studio" in Berlin; music director of the Centre Universitaire International de Formation et de Recherche Dramatiques in Nancy
1973 until 2000 – Teaches composition and music theory at the Basel Academy of Music and founded there the now renowned electronic studio
– Founded "ECHT!ZEIT", a festival for live electronic music together with Wolfgang Heiniger in Basel
As a composer, Thomas Kessler is interested in the interaction between musicians and electronics. He has written numerous instrumental chamber music works, orchestral pieces and compositions with live electronics. He lives in Basel and Tokyo.


Work list
Konstellationen I (1965)
for flute, trombone, violoncello and piano
Manuscript
Vier Stücke (1965)
for string quartet
Gérard Billaudot
14, rue de l'Echiquier
F-75010 Paris
Frankreich
Countdown für Orpheus (1966)
for tape recorder
Duration: 7' 30"
Manuscript
Musik für Flöte, Klavier und Tonband (1966)
Manuscript
Musik für Kontrabass, Klavier und Tonband (1966)
Manuscript
Konstellationen II (1967)
for flute, piano, violin and violoncello
Manuscript
Trio (1968)
for string trio
Duration: 9' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Maimusik (Revolutionsmusik) (1968)
for ensemble and tape recorder
Duration: 11' 00"
Manuscript
Nationale Feiertage (1969)
Opera
Manuscript
Smog (1971)
for trombone and orchestra (2.afl.ca.2.bcl.1/2.1.flhn.1.1/3perc/hp.pf.egtr.eorg/str)
Duration: 12' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Portrait (1972)
for trombone, piano and percussion
Manuscript
Loop (1973)
for belt grinder and 4 variable instruments
Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Aufbruch (1973)
for non-European instruments
Manuscript
Piano Control (1974)
for piano and synthesizer
Duration: 17' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Klangumkehr (1975)
for large orchestra
Manuscript
Lost Paradise (1975)
for piano, harp, alto flute, viola, english horn and live electronics
Duration: 13' 00"
Manuscript
Dialoge (1977)
for three non-European and the 2 European musicians and vocoder
Manuscript
Unisono (1978)
for 3 clarinets
Duration: 11' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Violin Control (1978)
for violin and synthesizer
Duration: 13' 00"
Manuscript
Schallarchiv (1979)
radiophone tape recorder composition
Manuscript
Pujaparwata (1980)
for Gamelan ensemble and tape recorder
Manuscript
Traumklang (1981)
for ensemble and live electronics
Manuscript
Drumphony (1981)
for percussion, computer and orchestra (3.2.2.2/4.3.3.1/hrp.cel.synth/str)
Duration: 18' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Drum Control (1983)
for percusssion and computer
Duration: 22' 30"
Manuscript
Flute Control (1984-1988)
for flute and live electronics
Duration: 18' 00"
Manuscript
La Montagne Ardente (1985)
for 3 synthesizers
Manuscript
String Control (1987)
for 1 string instrument and live electronics
Manuscript
Polysono (1987)
for basoon
Manuscript
Aufbruch (1989-1990)
for 5 samplers and orchestra (4.3.4.2/4.3.3.1/4perc/hp.pf/str)
Duration: 22' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Hades (1989)
for organ
Manuscript
Harpsichord Control (1990-2005)
for harpsichord and live electronics
Duration: 11' 00"
Manuscript
Kontrabass Control (1990-1991)
for double bass and live electronics
Manuscript
Pièce de Concours (1990)
for violin and tape recorder
Manuscript
Choral (1991)
for 4 alto saxophones
Manuscript
Ki (1992)
for organ
Manuscript
Message (1993)
for tape recorder
Manuscript
Voice Control (1994-2000)
for 3 voices and live electronics
Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Trombone Control (1994)
for trombone and live electronics
Manuscript
Inselmusik (1995)
for alto saxophone, marimbaphone and piano
Duration: 10' 00"
Manuscript
Windharfe (1996)
for violin, flute and live electronics
Manuscript
Irasshaimase (1999)
for shakuhachi and tape recorder
Duration: 9' 20"
Manuscript
Guitar Control (1999)
for guitar and live electronics
Duration: 11' 00"
Manuscript
Dichterlesung (2001-2002)
for three musicians and live electronics
Duration: 21' 00"
Manuscript
"Is it?" (2002)
for soprano and soprano saxophone
Duration: 7' 00"
Manuscript
",said the shotgun to the head." (2003)
for poetry reciter, rap choir and orchestra (3.3.3.3/4.2..1/4perc/hp.pf.egtr.eorg/12.10.8.6.4)
Texts: Saul Williams
Duration: 30' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Utopia (2004)
for 72 orchestral musicians with 72 live electronic instruments
Duration: 30' 00"
Manuscript
Oboe Control (2005)
for oboe and live electronics
Duration: 9' 00"
Manuscript
Lufttore (2006)
for bass clarinet and accordion
Duration: 14' 00"
Manuscript
NGH WHT (2007)
for speaker and string quartet
Texts: Saul Williams
Following our first collaboration on a work for symphony orchestra (hip-hop-choir and speaker with a text from the book "said the shotgun to the head"), Saul Williams asked me whether I would like to set a further text to music, namely NGH WHT from his newest book "the dead emcee scrolls". Saul subsequently gave me a recording containing a recital of 33 chapters in his own rhythmically complex style.
My immediate idea was to contrast this fiery poem with a string quartet, not only because of the close relationship between the human voice and the string instruments, but also because this concentrated formation seemed suitable to convey the wide expanse between intimate lyrics and explosive drama.
Saul's poems – in his own words – should not actually be read but heard. It is thus, with his performances in Poetry Slams, that he is able to resurrect the age-old mores of oral tradition within which the musical element played an important role – be it as a rhythmical support to the rhyme or as the sung transformation and clarification of the contents.
The string quartet follows the breathless recitation like a synchronised path in such an information dense manner and tempo that it would be very difficult to follow along with the actual written text. Add to this Saul's often coded, symbol loaded and association-rich content that only the initiated can understand, and the quartet gains an important role as musical disseminator and decoder for another level of understanding.
I took his unaltered voice and transformed its rhythmical structures, melodies and timbres, partly freely, partly directly, into an instrumental language. The quartet often articulates single key words, syllables, formants and breathing noises simultaneously and merges in several places almost completely with the spoken word. In other places, the derived spoken material takes it's own path in a flowing process between convergence and distance, synchronicity and time shift, conformation and resistance.
Duration: 24' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
sweet sounds (2008)
for saxophone and vocal ensemble
Duration: 17' 00"
Manuscript
(2012)


Texts: Sarah Kirsch
Duration: 19' 00"
Manuscript
Diskographie
Thomas Kessler (Grammont Porträt Nr. 98, 2006)
Interpreten:
Nopper, Sylvia
Weiss, Marcus
Werke:
Kessler, Thomas: ",said the shotgun to the head." (2003)
Kessler, Thomas: Drum Control (1983)
Kessler, Thomas: "Is it?" (2002)
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Basel Sinfonietta (Grammont Porträt Nr. 66, 2001)
Interpreten:
Wyttenbach, Jürg
Werke:
Bärtschi, Werner: Die Majestät der Alpen (1988-1989)
Kessler, Thomas: Aufbruch (1989-1990)
Mit weiteren Werken von: Igor Strawinsky, Witold Lutoslawski
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Andreas Gutzwiller - Schweizer Kompositionen für Shakuhachi (Grammont Portrait/ Musikszene Schweiz Nr. MGB CTS-M 61, 2000)
Interpreten:
Schneeberger, Hansheinz
Moster, Tobias
Werke:
Mäder, Urban: Windstriche I (1998)
Bräm, Thüring: One in two (1998)
Bennett, Gerald: Aki no kaze / Autumn Wind (2002)
Kessler, Thomas: Irasshaimase (1999)
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Bibliography
Nonnenmann, Rainer: Höhenflug mit gestutzten Flügeln. Zur Kölner Uraufführung von Thomas Kesslers "Utopia II" (1. Juli 2011), in: Dissonanz 115 (2011), S. 76-77 [Internet]
Gottstein, Björn: Im Schleifen der Differenz. Thomas Kesslers Orchesterstück "Utopia", in: Dissonanz 108 (2009), S. 28-31
Weissberg, Daniel: Ein Rebell zweiter Unordnung. Laudatio zur Verleihung des Marguerite Staehelin Preises an Thomas Kessler, Zürich 2006